Healthy diet, tips for a healthy diet

Healthy diet, tips for a healthy diet

There is a lot of talk about “healthy eating”, “balanced” and “beneficial”, but in a nutshell what are we talking about, who decides it and why?

Every nutrition professional relies in his work on the knowledge he possesses, acquired during training, which in turn is based on scientific evidence.

From these evidences, built on the basis of long observational studies on populations or on “trials” , which are nothing more than controlled trials / experiments, clinical guidelines or preventive, more or less cautious based on the certainty of the results, which constitute relative safety in the food sector and are recommended far and wide.

But controlling every possible variable while studying in this area is very difficult, which is why, when it comes to food indications, it is so difficult to provide clear and unquestionable answers!

However, there are some certainties that can also be applied in everyday life and that you should know if you intend to do everything possible to stay healthy.

What is a healthy and balanced diet for

Let’s start with the reasons that drive us to eagerly seek more and more information on how to behave once seated at the table: after all, each of us wants to feel good, right?

But this somewhat generic goal has some steps at its core that you shouldn’t ignore.

First of all, eating in a healthy and balanced way means providing your body with the means to work : food is both raw material and a source of energy for the complex factory that makes up the body.

Without electricity and without spare parts a car factory will not be able to produce vehicles, in the same way without carbohydrates and without proteins you would not stand up! Metabolism is all about energy assimilation.

Obviously, every element and nutrient has a specific purpose, which is why we should introduce it in our diet with the right quantities, those necessary for normal functioning.

In the same way, a healthy diet serves to avoid nutritional deficiencies : if some nutritional element is missing, maybe we go on anyway, but in a less efficient way or, if the deficiency becomes serious, with the danger to arise in ailments and diseases, which if I’m not mistaken is not within our scope.

Finally, eating in a balanced way allows us in many cases to avoid getting sick : many non-communicable diseases are linked to what and how much we eat, but acting with awareness can help us avoid or contain them even if there is a genetic predisposition.

In fact, we have seen more and more recently how epigenetics, or the influence of the environment on gene expression, counts a lot in the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease or cancer.

How and what should I eat to stay healthy?

The principles related to healthy eating, those that can be adopted by anyone who cares about their state of health, are not complex and you can immediately try to put them into practice in your days, perhaps focusing on an aspect that you had not taken enough under consideration until now.

In general you should:

  • abound with seasonal fruit and vegetables , because they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and phytonutrients, substances necessary for cellular function;
  • prefer foods as loose and fresh as possible , trying to avoid putting too many packaged products full of preservatives or additives and paying attention to the quality and origin of what you buy;
  • distribute calories throughout the day also according to commitments , eating balanced meals (without skipping them) and if necessary making light snacks (not snacks);
  • reduce the glycemic load by eliminating as much sugar, jams, honey, sweets, soft drinks, alcohol as possible and replacing white pasta, bread and rice with wholemeal ones to maintain low insulin levels;
  • use aromatic herbs and spices with imagination to reduce excessively fatty seasonings and limit the salt added to preparations.


Eating, however, is not just the gesture of bringing food to your mouth, there are a whole series of behaviors to adopt to ensure that your diet and your life in general is healthier, such as eating slowly while savoring food, try to control weight and abdominal circumference, adopt a personalized exercise program and adopt strategies to reduce stress and rest well.

How to distribute food throughout your day

Each of us is different, in habits as well as at work or in health.

It goes without saying that the famous guidelines can be applied or adapted specifically to the individual subject, sometimes even “bypassed” in particular conditions, but they are indeed indications to be used as a “frame “Of your personal eating habits.

Having said that, however, it is possible to have a general idea of ​​what are the most effective recommendations of official bodies such as the Italian Ministry of Health or the World Health Organization.

The recommendations, however, often do not reach the general population, who are therefore confused by various types of information coming from just about anyone.

Fortunately, however, in many cases these recommendations are translated, even graphically, to make them accessible to the general public and I want to bring to your attention two examples that could be very useful.

To find out how to distribute the various foods that we have defined as healthy, we can rely on two tools: one is the single dish prepared by Harvard University, the other is the food pyramid of the Mediterranean Diet.

In both documents we find indications on how to eat , the first on a single meal and the second on the frequency of weekly consumption.

We will therefore have all the necessary elements every time we sit down at the table to get the necessary nutrients, with abundant vegetables , a healthy protein source and a source of carbohydrates from preferably whole grains.

At the same time you can decide which variety of food belonging to the same food group to enter day by day and weekly:

  • from 3 to 5 daily portions of different varieties and colors of vegetables and fruit, raw or cooked, seasonal and local;
  • lean meats (2 to 4 portions per week) or fish (at least 2 portions per week) or eggs (2 to 4 portions per week) or legumes (at least 2 portions per week) combined with cereals as a protein source;
  • low-fat dairy products, to be evaluated if included as a snack (yogurt, 1 daily portion) or protein source of the single dish (low-fat cheeses, 2 weekly portions);
  • 1 or 2 daily portions of pasta or bread or whole grains as a source of carbohydrates;
  • 1 or 2 portions of preferably vegetable fats such as oil or seeds or nuts;
  • plenty of water, physical activity and conviviality every day.

You can also read my article on the food pyramid.

Is healthy eating expensive?

There is a belief that “healthy food” is difficult to eradicate, and that is that it is “expensive”.

In some ways I can almost agree with you: lately many alternative points of sale to the classic supermarket have been born, which were immediately associated with healthy eating for their meanings linked to natural and organic, for example, but which at the same time are extremely expensive .

There are also some varieties of products that are becoming more and more common, but which were not at all until recently and are still not available in small stores, such as varieties of wholemeal pasta , which are more expensive than the classic product.

But do we have to spend more to eat properly?

Not necessarily, unless you are looking for niche products, perhaps with particular properties or made only in certain geographical areas.

There is also another factor, waste.

Let’s think together: How much food do you happen to waste in a normal week? How much of that food expires directly in the fridge without you even noticing?

There are a few tricks you can use to make sure you don’t spend a fortune but still feed yourself, here are some keywords to keep in mind:

  • Programming : deciding in advance how you will eat can make a huge difference, simply making a shopping list organized by food categories to follow during the purchase will allow you not to be distracted by various advertisements inside and outside the point of sale.
  • Choice, both of the place of purchase and of the type of products: a market will not have the same products as a supermarket, nor the same quality. Try pushing yourself to new places and getting out of your comfort zone.

In addition, a vegetable washed, divided into portions and packaged – ready to use – can cost up to four times as much as one that may still have some soil on it … you really don’t have time to to wash a salad? I happened to see peeled and packaged oranges. A madness. You pay for plastic and transport for less fresh food.


In the points of sale, on the other hand, also carefully evaluate the type of packaging on the packaged products and compare the prices per kg to get an overview. Check the receipts and mark .

    • Seasonality : the less a food travels or is stored and processed, the lower the ancillary costs. Using this criterion for fruit and vegetables, but also for fish, will be good for your wallet.
    • Organization : properly storing and storing food once you are at home can help you waste less and consequently waste less money.

“means that the product could lose or have altered some organoleptic quality (such as smell or color ..) but it is not dangerous for consumption even shortly after the term.

Finally, always cook keeping in mind the right quantities for a portion and try to make creative use of any leftovers!

Not just “what”, but also “how” to eat

Now you should have a slightly better idea of ​​what everyone means by “healthy diet”.

We must not forget, however, that choosing food is only one of the steps : the way you store, cook and consume your meals can also greatly affect the healthiness of your diet.

A particularly important step is that of preparation and cooking, actions that can in fact greatly affect the nutritional content of foods: for example, some vitamins are sensitive to heat, while mineral salts are easily dispersed in water, which is why we recommend to alternate the consumption of both raw and cooked fruit and vegetables.

In other cases, cooking a food makes nutrients more available and removes or transforms substances that could normally be harmful to us, such as some proteins or the anti-nutrients found in cereals, legumes and vegetables.

One of the pieces to add to your overview therefore concerns the careful choice of the method of cooking the various foods, in order to have the greatest benefit with the least waste or damage.

The story of eating well and healthily does not end here: there are many other factors related to food that can have an even more positive influence on your overall health, such as timing, or the moment you decide to eat, or the use of any supplements, which can make your body’s work even more efficient, or even how you decide to combine physical activity and training with nutrition .

If you are curious and want to know more watch the video lesson “The timing of nutrition” which is taken from the course “Potential Nutrition”, I think it could help you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *